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In Puerto Rico, thousands of loaded containers sitting at ports

Sep 29, 2017 09:20 AM

Officials say supplies are getting to the island, but distribution is the problem

Crowley shipping containers with running refrigeration systems are lined up at in the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. They've been there for days, goods locked away inside.

Courtesy NPR

Crowley shipping containers with running refrigeration systems are lined up at in the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. They've been there for days, goods locked away inside.

(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Millions of people in Puerto Rico need fuel, water, food and medicine a week after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, but thousands of loaded containers are sitting at the port of San Juan because major infrastructure is still down, NPR reported.

It's one thing to get supplies to the island, but officials at the Department of Homeland Security said distributing the goods is the bigger challenge. Diesel is short, drivers are scarce, and authorities say some roads are still impassable.

Crowley Maritime Corp. said it has more than 3,400 commercial containers at its San Juan terminal now. "These containers are full of food, these containers are full of water, full of medicine ... full of construction materials," said Vice President Jose Ayala, who noted a barge a day has arrived since the port opened on Saturday. "It has reached Puerto Rico. The problem is we can't get it on the shelves."

"Plenty of vessels can get cargo to the island," said Mark Miller, Crowley's vice president of communications. "But the real difficulty is getting the goods to the people via trucks."

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